Baby Hitler: Why People Are Obsessed With This Internet Meme

Either it’s Friday or it’s a slow news day because baby Hitler has been trending on social media and on search engines.

That’s because New York Times Magazine asked its readers if they would go back in time and kill baby Hitler. The news giant took to Twitter to get the questions rolling with its tweet and poll results. The results show that 42 percent of their readers would be willing to go back in time to kill baby Hitler, while 30 percent would be against it, and 28 percent are not sure.

Even the folks at the Daily Edge joined in on the question. They responded, “If baby Churchill had a gun he could have killed baby Hitler.”

The question is, where did New York Times Magazine get its strange question from in the first place? Were they inspired by Back to the Future Day, which took place on Wednesday, Oct. 21. According to Forbes, the idea of killing baby Hitler is a common theme in time travel and science fiction. There’s even a phrase that says, “Everyone kills Hitler on their first trip,” which has quickly become an internet meme. Of course, killing baby Hitler is as difficult as going back in time.

We shouldn’t look into it too deeply though. After all, it could just be a fun Friday afternoon question that the folks at the New York Times Magazine thought of. The controversial question did elicit a lot of humorous tweets and responses. Even if the polls say different, it looks like 100 percent of Twitter users found the question ridiculous. Most were baffled to see baby Hitler trending at all.

It makes some people long for the days of Cats That Look Like Hitler, the popular internet site that helped spawn the internet meme. Once you go to the website, you will come across the strange heading that says.

“Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he’s going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like ‘Sieg Miaow’? If so, this is the website for you.”

It spawned hundreds, maybe thousands of people to submit their photos of their cats. In order for your cat to look like Hitler, he or she would have to be a black-and-white cat with a patch of black fur underneath its nose, shaped like Hitler’s trademark mustache.

What’s this baby Hitler thing? I hope it’s one of those Tumblrs where people post photos of their babies/cats/otters that look like Hitler.

— Thierry (@tcote) October 23, 2015

In case you didn’t know, Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a small town located in Austria-Hungary, now present-day Austria. Hitler was the fourth of six children to the parents of Alois Hitler and Klara Polz. In 1894, he and his family relocated to Leonding (near Linz), and then he and his family moved to Vienna in 1905, where he lived a bohemian life, although the town was a hotbed of religious prejudice and racism, according to reports. Although it’s not clear where Hitler’s anti-Semitism stemmed from, his friend August Kubizek said that he was a “confirmed anti-Semite” before he left his hometown of Linz.

Baby Adolf
(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

According to a report via Gizmodo, the question is “grotesque” and stupid in nature, and it appears that the social media agrees as well. They’ve been having fun with the baby Hitler trending topic all Friday afternoon, and the topic has carried well on into the night.

Have you noticed baby Hitler trending on social media? Were you also baffled by the trending topic? Would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler, if given the chance? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)